South Bay Tap Takeover

The Meltdown – Power Plant Release Photos

These photos were taken Friday afternoon at El Segundo Brewing Company, and Friday evening at Tortilla Cantina, home of the 5th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. Friday was day one of El Segundo Brewing’s release of their Power Plant Triple IPA, which included a synchronized release with about 20 other locations in Southern California; one of which was Tortilla Cantina.

This is the time of year that triple IPAs start finding their way up and down the state of California, probably due in large part to the fact that for the last 15 years Russian River Brewing has released their Pliny the Younger Triple IPA on the first Friday of February. El Segundo Brewing has been releasing Power Plant at about the same time for the last five years. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2018 Year in Review

It is that time of year again, when I try to summarize what has happened in the past year, as far as local craft beer is concerned and the highlights of the Craft Beer Guy year. As I typically do, I read over last year’s review to see what predictions I may have made, and how they panned out.

Burnin' Daylight

Burnin’ Daylight Brewing – Coming soon!

Last year I predicted that Burnin’ Daylight Brewing Company, a brewpub in Lomita; and Port Town Brewing, a production brewery in San Pedro would be open by the end of 2018. While I am sure the respective owners would have loved to see that come true, alas, it was not to be. That being said, Burnin’ Daylight is now brewing beer and they are just waiting for some final checks from places like the county health department. If all goes well, Burnin’ Daylight should be open for at least a soft open by mid-January 2019. Port Town Brewing had a larger obstacle, aka the City of Los Angeles, but they are making progress and might just open their doors before 2019 ends.

I have to admit, with all the growth that is going on around here, I kind of feel like a slacker. It used to be a lot easier to keep up, but I am ashamed to say that there are at least two breweries in the South Bay that I have yet to visit; trying to keep up with the Long Beach area has proven tough. I have to rely on craft beer festivals like Festival Obscura to keep me somewhat in the loop. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Photos

The photos were taken Thursday at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they hosted the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover. While this was their first time for hosting this event, it was the largest collection of local craft breweries since I first started putting on the event in 2015; with 22 local breweries participating and 49 taps of craft beer!

Since this was the fourth tap takeover, I have become accustomed to last minute issues coming up, resulting in either a brewery not getting the beers to the venue on time, or a mislabeled keg. As I have read that this is fairly common with even the most efficiently run craft beer festival, I just kind of grin and bear it as most of the time the attendees never even notice. While I was putting out proverbial fires at 10:30 Wednesday night, by the time Thursday morning rolled around everything somehow was falling into place. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover to Feature 22 Local Breweries

tortilla-cantina

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, Thursday, September 6 at Tortilla Cantina

I hope you saved the date as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover will be held this Thursday, September 6, at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance. This event will feature 22 local breweries, with more than 40 taps under one roof; not bad considering the first South Bay Tap Takeover started in 2015 with just 10 South Bay breweries. That should give you an idea of just how much the craft beer scene has grown around here.

The event will begin at noon and run until 11:30 PM, with happy hour pricing from noon until 7:00 PM. From 7:00-10:00, live music will be provided by Ashleigh Correa and Rock the Ashbah. Continue reading

Tortilla Cantina 8th Anniversary Photos

These photos were taken Saturday evening at Tortilla Cantina in Torrance, where they celebrated their 8th anniversary. The event featured craft beer pouring from close to 50 taps, live music from Ashleigh Correa, and Charlie Don’t Surf (Kemo and the boys), and complimentary appetizers for an hour or so.

Tortilla Cantina is a “taco bistro” that offers 18 varieties of tacos and usually has about 48 different beers on tap. They are also the home of the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which will be held on September 6, from noon until 11:30 PM, and will feature their standard Happy Hour from noon to 7:00 PM, their wide selection of tacos, and live music by Ashleigh Correa.

The breweries scheduled to attend are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, The Dudes’, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, The Honest Abe Cidery, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, Three Weavers, Ximix Craft Exploration, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover Coming to Tortilla Cantina

tortilla cantina

4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover – September 6, 2018

Please save the date, Thursday, September 6, 2018, as the 4th Annual South Bay Tap Takeover is returning; this year the event will be hosted at Tortilla Cantina, in Torrance.

The first time I put on this event, in 2015, it consisted of 40 taps from 10 of the South Bay’s best craft breweries. This year we have 19 breweries currently confirmed as attending; the number of taps we will have has yet to be determined, but Tortilla Cantina’s owner Rick Gomez informed me that he has the ability to provide up to 50 taps, so we shall see.

The breweries scheduled to attend, in alphabetical order, are Absolution Brewing, Brouwerij West, Common Space, El Segundo Brewing, Hermosa Brewing Company, HopSaint, King Harbor Brewing, LA Ale Works, Phantom Carriage, Scholb, Smog City, State Brewing, Strand Brewing, The Dudes’, The Honest Abe Cidery, Three Weavers, Ximix, Yorkshire Square, and Zymurgy Brew Works. Continue reading

Taking a Craft Beer Tour of the SpaceX Corridor

I was going to begin this article by suggesting, “unless you have been living under a rock, you know of Elon Musk’s SpaceX” but I discovered there actually are some people that are unfamiliar with SpaceX; so I will presume that if you are into American craft beer and follow this site, you are at least somewhat familiar with Elon Musk and/or SpaceX.

What you may not be aware of is that SpaceX is headquartered in the City of Hawthorne and craft breweries and craft beer bars have been springing up in what I now call the SpaceX Corridor and all of them have been vying for the attention of SpaceX employees; and from what I have been able to see, those employees have been enjoying the attention.

Since I named it the SpaceX Corridor, I also get to define the boundaries. El Segundo Boulevard is a little over 5 miles long from the Harbor Freeway (110) and the San Diego Freeway (405). In that stretch there are now four craft breweries and one craft beer bar; all of which I have no problem recommending. Here is how you can complete the SpaceX Corridor Craft Beer Tour from one end to the other in one day, with relative ease. Be advised, this can currently only be done Thursday through Sunday; if you are reading this in six months or a year from now, the hours may be expanded by then.

The locations we will visit are State Brewing Company, Ximix Craft Exploration, Common Space Brewery, Los Angeles Ale Works, and Flights Beer Bar.

For the purposes of this tour, we will begin on the east end of the SpaceX Corridor, at State Brewing Company in Gardena. Continue reading

The Craft Beer Guy 2017 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, it is time to think back on what 2017 has brought to the craft beer world; more specifically what has happened in the Craft Beer Guy world. As 2016 came to a pretty crappy end for me, I did not do one last year; for that reason, I will begin with the end of 2016 as it segued into 2017.

steelcraft soft open

Smog City – Steelcraft – Bixby Knolls

My coverage of 2016 ended pretty much the way 2017 started, with the opening of Smog City Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, Smog City – SteelCraft in the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach. They opened the location at the end of December; by the middle of January they had applied for, and were granted the ability to sell growlers and bottles to go.

Later in January the inaugural L.A. Beer and Food Festival was presented by the Los Angeles County Brewers Guild. The sold-out event featured close to 50 member breweries of the LA Brewers Guild as well as 15 local food vendors. This year the L.A. Beer and Food Festival will be held Saturday, January 27. Buy your tickets now, before it sells out.

Just a bit of trivia; while there were about 50 LA County Brewers Guild members in January of 2017, today there are almost 70! Continue reading

Photos from the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover

These photos were taken Thursday at the 3rd Annual South Bay Tap Takeover, which was held at Flights, in Hawthorne. The event featured 18 of the South Bay’s best production breweries and brewpubs, filling up 39 tap handles.

Although I did not arrive until a little after 4:00 PM, my Facebook feed indicated that people began streaming in pretty much as soon as the doors opened. By 6:00 we had the place packed and it remained that way until close to 10:00; after that, people kept arriving to sample some outstanding brews.

I had the opportunity to speak with many of the attendees and discovered that this was the first time visiting Flights; it seems safe to say that they will all return. Continue reading

Craft Beer Backyard Barbecue and Summer Fun Feast

These photos were taken Saturday at Strand Brewing Company’s Backyard Barbecue (first three pages); and King Harbor Brewing Company’s Summer Fun Feast, as both production breweries celebrated summer with craft beer, barbecues, and games.

The Backyard Barbecue at Strand Brewing featured 15 taps spread out over two bars, food from Chefs in Shorts, and live music by Bill Benzel and Jim Earp, Jim Kimo West, Ryan Collazo, and Big Bad Rooster. With all the kids, dogs and families in attendance, as well as the aroma wafting from the grill, it really did feel like a backyard barbecue. Continue reading

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